For me, toilet training and sleep training are based on the same principles. Both are borne out of necessity and sanity! The short term pains outweighs the long term gains.
Toilet training is a lot messier than sleep training and in some cases, smelly too. Arm yourselves with disposable rubber gloves, I say!
I subscribe to the school of thought with toilet training only when the child expresses an interest. Well, it is meant to be 'easier' since it is child initiated.
That was the case with Twin #1, my daughter. Just before she turned 2.5 years ago, she proclaimed that she wanted undies like her girlfriends and be a "big girl". Ding! Ding! Ding! Toilet training commenced for her at childcare and at home. There were accidents and wet undies & skirts to be brought home from Kindy for a few months and to be expected. Within a few months, she was fully toilet trained for the day. I rejoiced the day I no longer had to buy a jumbo box of nappies every single week for the twins!
One would assume that if twin #1 was so keen on toilet training, that twin #2 would follow with interest. No such luck for me.
The penny finally dropped (for me) 14 days ago when I had to purchase a box of nappies for Daniel (it takes him 3 weeks to go through 66 nappies so he has good bladder control!). I was SO ANGRY at having to purchase another box of nappies that I contemplated not buying them but common sense prevailed.
No amount of book reading, reminding him that his good friends at childcare are using the toilet except for him and encouragment on our part seem to work so I employed the next tactic: Verbal Bullying. I know it is horrible. Hear me out.
I told him that he was a baby (he hates that) and not a big boy like his mates.
He would scream back at me, "I AM NOT A BABY!"
He would scream back at me, "I AM NOT A BABY!"
My reply, "THEN WHY ARE YOU STILL IN NAPPIES?!"
Two days after the purchase of a new jumbo box of nappies...I had enough! The husband and I made the decision to bite the bullet and just toilet train him.
Day 1 - toilet training in our backyard
We spent most part of the day in our backyard. The husband set up an outdoor toilet for Daniel. We made him drink copious amounts of water and Charlotte appointed herself to be the demonstrator. He watched when she went on the toilet, then we put him on and he refused. This went on countless times through that day.
Day 2 - toilet training in our backyard
Same as above. No attempt on the outdoor toilet for Daniel. In fact, he was really stubborn on this day and it would have been easier for us to just give up but we made the decision to persist.
Day 3 - toilet training in our home
He finally did a wee on the toilet for the first time and we were all so thrilled. We cheered - clapped - yahooed!!!! Every 30 minutes, I would drag him to the toilet with much angst on his part. Tough love, baby. To his credit, "Mummy, I am a big boy. I don't wear nappies!"
I then explained to Daniel how the above reward chart works and that is, when he completes all the stamps, he will be rewarded with Duck the train. His eyes lit up.
Day 4 - Collaborative Partnership with Childcare
His teachers worked with us on his toileting at childcare and on this day, I sent him with 4 spare shorts and underwear. When I picked him up that afternoon, I LAUGHED OUT LOUD because they were all wet! When Daniel spotted me, he ran towards me with a huge smile on his face proclaiming that he is a big boy because he has no nappies on. Then, he took me hand and told me that he needed to use the toilet! VICTORY!!!! We went and he did just that. All his teachers, cheered loudly and told him how proud they were. He lapped up all the attention.
Day 5 - Childcare
As usual, I rocked up to pick him up and was fully expecting to pick up more wet shorts and underwear when I realised ... NO WET ITEMS! WOW! We were so proud of him and yes, he also fulfilled all the stamps on his reward chart so he was given his promised reward.
Day 6 - Regression at Childcare
I was disheartened this day to see that he had regressed with his toilet training. However, he was so happy that he was no longer wearing a nappy and as usual, took himself to the toilet before we went home. All is well. It just takes time.
Day 7 - Long weekend public holiday and heaps of errands to run
We told the kids that we had to go to 3 different places that morning and that Daniel needed to put on his nappy. He refused so I watched the clock like a hawk. On this date, we were very proud of him because he insisted on not wearing his nappy even though he knew we were out & about, he did not have any accidents and even went on the public toilet without any fuss! WOW!
We are incredibly proud of Daniel and especially how far he has come within such a short time. A few changes have taken place so far:
- He takes off his nappy when he wakes up in the morning
- We bring him to the toilet every hour instead of 30 minutes and he always does a wee!
- He hates the nappy so we now have a full box of jumbo nappies which I will gladly give away
What we hope to see him achieve in the coming months:
- For him to take himself to the toilet without any prompting
- For him to do his poo in the toilet and not his underwear!
Based on my personal experience, it is certainly easier toilet training girls as oppose to boys and sometimes, boys just need to be pushed into doing something that they don't want to...I think, it is a case of nature and not nurture!